I consider my discovery of The Urantia Book to be the most significant positive event in my life of 65 years. Most of my 41 years up to that point could be summed up as "preparatory experience." I learned a lot about the misery and pain spiritual misdirection can cause. I made costly mistakes, of commission and omission, affecting not only my life, but others I dearly loved.I am the quintessential example of a "Prodigal Son".
Had I taken the time to obtain The Urantia Book when I was supposed to have done so, I would not have gone to prison on drug charges in 1977, forever lost my license to teach children or juveniles, or to teach in the public schools, or pursue my other primary interests in the fields of medicine, nursing, or pharmacy. My fiancee might not have died from an overdose while I was in prison. I might not have lost every earthly or material possession. I might have had children, or... but I could go on and on. The point is, that I made serious life altering mistakes for which I paid dearly, and in many ways, I'm still paying and will continue to pay until the day I graduate from this world.
I had been told about The Urantia Book in 1975 by a wandering "hippy- pot-smoking" couple who had learned of it while passing through Boulder, CO in their VW minivan. (There were/are many UB centered groups in Boulder). A mutual acquaintance had asked me to put them up in a spare bedroom until they found work and could get their own place. I agreed, and so learned about "some new marvelous big blue spiritual book." When I asked the natural question about who wrote it, he simply shrugged and pointed up. "Some kind of space people, or Angels, or somthing like that," he said.
I was immediately intrigued by this information about a 2000 page book for which no human author was taking credit. I had searched through just about every religion that exists, along with numerous fringe cults, without hearing about this one.
But none of the main bookstores carried it and the one place that knew of one for sale said it was in a health store some distance away. I nearly bought it there some weeks later on the way to a day at the beach. I procrastinated though, saying we could stop on the way home to get it. Of course, after a day of drinks, pot, and sunburn, it was put off again.
The next couple of years were perhaps the most eventful of my life and I made a series of poor choices. They were choices I probably would not have made had I been reading The Urantia Book at that time.
That was then...this is now.
Since I've been studying the book, I've grown in so many ways I had never imagined possible. I completely quit all drugs, alcohol, even pot and cigarettes. I do have a rare glass of wine on occasion, either socially or with a meal, or sometimes a beer, never more than two. More importantly, I have received the ultimate spiritual gift. I had the experience of receiving the personal embrace of Christ Michael(another name for Jesus), at a time when I was so dejected and despondent I was contemplating taking my own life. I was assured of the fact that I was indeed a beloved child of God and that my mistakes need not be fatal. I received the personal assurance that there was still good that could be accomplished from my living and following the Will of God as best I could. That experience began "the first day of the rest of my life."
I still have a long way to go. I haven't given up chocolate yet and have to cut back on the calories. ;-) I can be lazy and procrastinate too much. (How much is too much?) I have fallen far short of what I might have done with a bit more courage and persistence. There's always more to learn, do, or teach.
But I'm so very grateful to The Urantia Book for God, for Jesus, and all our celestial helpers that have become so real to me. I've learned more from looking at life on this planet through the lens of The Urantia Book than I could ever have done earning a roomful of doctor's degrees from temporal institutions.
Although physically limited from a permanent disability (one of the ways I'm still paying for my sins), I'm happily married, have a lovely home on a beautiful serene lakeside in a lovely gated community, plenty of good food to eat, and I lack nothing of any real consequence. I have leisure time to try to use in ways that might help or benefit others.
As for the UB's authenticity? How do you authenticate a message from God? It can only be authenticated by the Spirit of Truth or God Fragment that indwells each normal mortal on Earth/Urantia. Certainly its own internal consistency between various portions of some one million words can also be powerful authentication, and I've never seen any internal contradiction that could stand the light of thorough investigation.
No revelation short of the attainment of the Father in Paradise is ever complete or finished. The UB is the most authentic universal revelation of God and the Universe to mankind to date and I stake my life and eternal soul on that conviction. Whether there could be higher individual revelations is pure speculation. There is enough in the UB to keep people profitably occupied for the next millennium, at least.
Is it essential? Nah. The real question is: Is it helpful? Does it contribute to healthy growth, development, experience, and wisdom? That answer is an unqualified YES! Nothing but seeking to find and do the Father's will is "essential." And that can be done in any religion, sect, cult, culture, or nation on Earth/Urth/Urantia.
What The Urantia Book does so much more perfectly than other less universal revelations is to guide us into a better understanding of God's will in general, and for each of us specifically.
So, there you have it. Not in twenty- five words or less, and I had to put off doing other things, but that is the brief version of how I value The Urantia Book. I hope you find some helpful thoughts here.
Jere L Hough
To finite man truth, beauty, and goodness embrace the full revelation of divinity reality. As this love- comprehension of Deity finds spiritual expression in the lives of God-knowing mortals, there are yielded the fruits of divinity: intellectual peace, social progress, moral satisfaction, spiritual joy, and cosmic wisdom. ~ The Urantia Book, (56:10.20)